Hunting in the pool of the ancient Indtigirki

     Indigirka pool covers an area of ​​360 thousand sq. M. km length of the river — 1726 kilometers. Climatic conditions and the vastness of space make it difficult to systematically survey the area by archaeologists. Traces of ancient hunters here and fishermen were discovered by chance and not so long ago — only in 1950, nine years later, followed by a message on the sensational discovery: just above the delta region was first found parking ancient man. Several layers consisting of residues at different times of life of ancient man, indicate that the parking lot was the abode of several generations of people.
     Since then studied more than two dozen sites in various places along the river. As a result of hard and persistent perennial quest researchers collected considerable material to draw general conclusions about how to live and what the ancient inhabitants of these places. Arctic Archeological finds reveal the ancient history of traditional forms of economy that emerged from the small peoples of the North in the days when humanity did not know other than those made of bone, stone, and only here and there bronze tools and hunting.
The results of years of research of archaeologists Far North summarized in a small booklet (2002), a researcher of antiquities pool Indigirka SI Everest.
     Catchy discoveries in the basin Indigirka rare: usually during excavations reveal only stone and bone tools of hunting and accumulation of bone fish, birds and mammals. As a rule, they are all in a very poor state of preservation. However, their number is such that it allows not only to determine species of animals that were hunted in these places 13-12,5 thousand. Years ago, but also to trace in a variety of formation of different types of hunting guns. They are stationary, archaeologists sometimes many hundreds. The parallels from the recent history of contemporary hunting peoples of Western Siberia (especially Yukagirs) and North America (Alaska Native) allow to recover, though not certain, ways of catching wild animals and fish in ancient Arctic.
     13-12,5 thousand. Years ago in these places, the gradual extinction of large herd animals. Disappears woolly rhinoceros, mammoths dying. The pool Aldana remains of a woolly rhinoceros are not found in parking lots under 18 thousand. Years, mammoth, bison, musk ox and horses younger than 12 thousand. Years. The last mammoths died 10,5-10,3 thousand. Years ago (in the era of so-called pozdnesartanskogo cooling).
     The most frequent during excavations in the Arctic Indigirskogo fossil remains of a mammoth, hare, ptarmigan, as well as bison and horses, reindeer, bear, moose, sea mammals, fish — sturgeon Calma. This diversity of the arc corresponds to a variety of hunting guns, which means that finds use in food animals is not accidental: the hunt for them was well known here.
     According to SI Everestova, explore four open their parking lots, instruments as diverse as it is varied and hunting methods.
     They were adapted not only to the hunting of large mammals («traditional meat»), but also, as suggested by SI Mount Everest, also on small mammals such as raccoon, sable, weasel, badger, squirrel, chipmunk, mole and even a rat. However, they were not the remains found during excavations. Therefore, the existence of such hunts in ancient indigirtsev can not yet be considered as reliable.
     The main conclusion of SI Everestova that ancient hunters, apparently, did not suffer from hunger, because in the short term could provide itself with meat for a long time, and even all year round, cast doubt on the feasibility of hunting small animals, known on ethnographic information.
     In general, apparently, traditional hunting methods have changed little over the millennia. For example, on the Yenisei was found with the blade of bison stuck in her tip of deer antler. It clearly clarifies the ancient technique of hunting: in the blade labeled clearly at close range. Just hunted and North American Indians of XVIII-XX centuries .: eager to hit the buffalo are not in the heart, namely, under the shoulder blade. Dexterity hunter determined the outcome of the hunt.
     It was found and rock painting depicting a dog attacking a moose. It shows that ancient hunters did not do without assistants — hunting dogs. The image of a mammoth tusk on his own, even gave rise, by virtue of his mastery, doubt the authenticity of the findings: seemed so perfect figure. Now it is proved that the picture really made hand of early man.
     During the excavations found no traces of snares, which, according to S.I.Everestova, only able to provide massive fishing hare and ptarmigan. Archaeologist intuitively suggests that snares were constructed of mammoth wool. Hunting using snares is considered one of the oldest ways of hunting and passive as the researchers suggest, is consistent with ancient hunting skills indigirtsev «stadialno.»
     However, this conclusion is not entirely justified. First of all, there are detailed classification mechanism used by primitive people. You can refer to the observation ethnologist Justus Lips (1895-1950), author of the famous book «The origin of things.» Researchers attribute the snare, like other traps among the first vehicles invented by man. It classifies them according to the level of complexity: for example, the most primitive machines — Lovcen pit crushing and trap types — require systematic observations of phenomena such as the effect of gravity (or the animal, or hunting guns undergo impact Earth’s gravity). More complex snare: they use those often divergent forces that are applied by the animals to escape. Even more difficult, in terms of the laws of mechanics, spring a trap: they use the momentum and resilience of the resilient material (for this type include, for example, fish hooks). Finally, the most sophisticated traps torsional barnacle-use of force rotation. Judging by the description SI Everestova, none of the mechanisms of this classification was not known to the inhabitants of the basin Indigirka in ancient times (with the exception of constipation fish is not entirely clear design). But it is not the origin of a secondary mechanism of modern times, used by SI Everestovym Ethnographic parallels?
The invention snares and hunting Silkova was so spectacular event that firmly fix the historical memory of different peoples. Hunters antiquity gave the appearance of passive hunting paramount. I in Latin writer. n. e. — Poet and theorist of his own hunting — grata falisci attributes his fishing goddess Artemis, and not the human mind. Hunting using snares and nets not only stimulated the observation of the hunter, and, having secured, released him before fully engaged in tracking down and catching animals and birds. Thus Silkova hunting provided significant human leisure for observation of the natural world around him, being itself — in historical reality — is generated by the observation of the ancient fishing tenacious. Here is how this invention «Secret Mongol word» recorded at the beginning of the XIII century. Remaining without the support and recognition of relatives, a hunter armed with a bow so few arrows, first to notice, as the blue-gray female falcon catches and devours partridges, and then make a trap out of the tail of his horse wounded. Unfortunately, SI Everestovu and his colleagues have not yet managed to find among the remains found at sites, bones of birds of prey. Including the assumption of the existence of so Silkova hunt the inhabitants of the basin Indigirka remains as hypothetical.
     Finally, it would be unreasonable to assume that fishing hares and partridges certainly demanded more improvised. It is widely known that hares and partridges inherent in certain season grazing batten to the extent that the accumulated fat meat and prevent their movement, limiting their speed and jump, and in altitude. There are a lot of eyewitness testimony. Residents of the North European part of Russia in the XIX century. save on charges of gun and beaten with rifle butts partridges, and quail, as they were not able to escape from the hunters through the tall grass. In the XVIII century. Hetman Mazepa with his friends, going from persecution, escaped from death by starvation through a flock of birds, so low flying over the steppe, the Cossacks are not perceptible in the tall grass, caught them by their legs, standing in the saddle. Therefore, to assume Silkova certainly discourage the ancient inhabitants of the basin Indigirka on the basis of a relatively numerous finds of the bones of small animals and birds would be premature.
     Indeed, until archaeologists failed to resolve the puzzle even a small weight, so imperfect that it admits the existence of a very primitive network or seine is not completely clear until the scientists design. SI Everestovu must be noted that the fish caught in the ancient Indighirka likely, with his bare hands. Guess it was not incredible: Michalon Litvin (XVI c.), Which describes, among other lands, the pool of Pripyat, shows that its shores fish in his time it was possible to catch the arms in abundance: it was enough not looking to poke a spear in infested fish the river to get food for several days.
     Therefore, it remains only to rely on future discoveries that might clarify in detail the way to hunt small game and birds in such a vast and archaeologically yet little studied region of the Far North, as the basin Indigirka.

Olga KOLOSOVA22 June 2007 at 19:01

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